While Sheridan is coming from a Roman Catholic perspective, the evidences for the New Testament (NT) that he discusses are of importance for evangelical and reformed Protestants too. From an apologetic standpoint it is great to see this on Australian television. But let’s not forget the need to get the gospel right – in addition to these evidences. If we could have all of Australia as convinced as Sheridan about the truth of the NT and Jesus, it would be great – but all this would achieve is that we have arrived back to the time, as it were, before the reformation and still in the dark!
One can have the historical Jesus but not have the gospel of justification by faith alone. This is why Luther said regarding the article of justification by faith alone:
‘…if this article stands, the church stands; if this article collapses, the church collapses.’ (WA 40:3.352.3)
And this is why Calvin described justification by faith alone as:
‘…the main hinge on which religion turns‘ or ‘…the principal ground on which religion must be supported‘.(Institutes, 3.11.1)
I see the greatest challenge facing the church today is the need to get both the person and work of Christ right. The person – who He is, the work – what He has done. It is the point of the work of Christ on which we disagree with the Roman Catholic church officially; and of course many Protestants unofficially, who do not understand their own faith. If Christ’s work means His obedience under the law is given to me and my sin given to him at the cross, there is nothing I can or need to do to inherit eternal life. That is why it is a gift, it is grace, and it is by faith (alone). And yes, like Luther and Calvin, it does not matter what else you get right, if you get the gospel wrong, you get everything wrong.
‘For unless you understand first of all what your position is before God, and what the judgment which he passes upon you, you have no foundation on which your salvation can be laid, or on which piety towards God can be reared.’– John Calvin (Institutes, 3.11.1)